Book Review: The Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski

About the Book:

A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into the gangs of New York.

When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?

The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.

About the Author:

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/borstinski

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LeoBorstinski

Website: http://www.leopoldborstinski.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071ZZXZMR?_encoding=UTF8&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bowery-Slugger-Alex-Cohen-Book-ebook/dp/B07X7HC4L2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1572945986&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Bowery-Slugger-Alex-Cohen-Book-ebook/dp/B07X7HC4L2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+bowery+slugger&qid=1572946119&sr=8-1

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=7L2vDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-7L2vDwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_read&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_viewport

NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bowery-slugger-leopold-borstinski/1133282419

My Thoughts:

The Bowery Slugger follows the life of Alex as he steps off a boat and onto American soil. This is a well-written story set during the onset of World War I, bringing the reader to a small part of the world and it’s inhabitants. Alex, in his teenage years, is smart and ruthless, grabbing opportunities and finding his way forward. We are introduced to the Jewish New York mob and how it is run. We meet some very interesting people who add different views and dimensions to this story.

The story is fast paced and at some points is quite graphic and gruesome. However, the author handles the plot quite well and the reader is pulled in the midst of family drama, power struggles, trust and status. The characters are well crafted and fit into the historical setting of this first book. The period and setting is so well described that it is easy for us as the readers to imagine it all in our minds.

Though slow at the beginning, the story picks up speed and pushes forward to an interesting climax. There is indeed some romance brought into the mix, but it takes a back seat most of the time. This story arc shows the reader a contrast in character thinking and brings into focus the skills of the main protagonist. As Alex starts to consider a move from his profession for the sake of love, he starts to wonder at his skill set and whether he is cut out for a world away from crime and the mob.

The plot is elaborately crafted and the reader takes a journey through the hierarchy of people and how the system works. There is a weird sense of justice about the job Alex holds inspite of the violence. there is a sense of honor.

The Bowery Slugger, an apt title for Alex in my opinion, is well worth a read!

Book Review: Until Someday by E.S. Ready

About the Book:

Until Someday

The year is 1927 and professional boxer Emmett Roane is losing his grip on reality. His career is faltering, memories of a lost love haunt him and the horrors of the Great War muddle his mind. Emmett’s past is hobbling his future, and no amount of booze or knockout blows can ease his painful memories. Seeking solace in the place where he and his Anna had once been so happy, Emmett leaves Brooklyn for a few days alone in Newport at the gilded waterfront Hermann Hotel. During a fateful weekend as he tries to make peace with his ghosts, Emmett crosses paths with Maude Mable, a lively beauty with secrets of her own. But they soon learn the luxury hotel also hosts Luther Irvin, an opium-addicted mobster who is as violent as he is desperate. When Emmett and Maude discover Luther’s hideous plan to wage war on a rival gang, the pair is thrust into a deadly match of wits and force. His back against the ropes, Emmett finds his quest for self-restoration has become a mission of survival-for him, Maude and everyone at the Hermann. Can Emmett Roane, a fighter who desperately seeks an elusive peace, halt the embodiment of evil while finding a way to heal his own heart and mind?

My Thoughts:

E.S. Ready has given us a good novel set in the year 1927, when mobsters tended to make the rules. The protagonist Emmett Roane, a professional boxer is seen fighting not just people but also his own demons. Haunted by the death of his love, Anna, he is seen talking to her a lot. These situations feature direct conversations which make us believe that Emmett is actually talking to Anna and in a way I assume he is. As he struggles to move past her death, while trying to divert his mind with alcohol, he goes to Newport for a few days to take a break. As fate has it, we are introduced to Maude, a sassy, forward lady who singles Emmett out and spends time with him.

In a slightly cliche manner, a romance develops between the two. However, the author does throw in some twists when we find out that a mobster, out for revenge is also staying at the same hotel. Pulled into the same plot, Emmett and Maude are forced to face their fears and help save innocent lives. Emmett, having fought in the Great War, and partly haunted by the horrors of then, but well trained is seen wielding the various guns that the mobster and his goons have.

The story is fast paced and set over a weekend. The plot flows well in-spite of some of the cliches and it makes for a good read. There is a good amount of action thrown in and each persons desires and fears are brought out. The plot features characters filled with hatred, lusting for revenge and death while others that want to move forward from their pasts and have a better life. As one can conclude, our protagonist cannot go somewhere and expect a quiet time! Trouble does seem to follow him around even if he isn’t trying to seek it out.

The characters of the story are well developed and the story comes to life withe the author’s vivid descriptions of the scenes, especially the ones that involve fighting. Everything is described as though under scrutiny of a microscope and each part is broken down to the very last bit. A good read, the author seems to have depicted the time in which the story is set pretty well. He paints a strong and vivid picture.

Until Someday, the title of the book resonates in the pages towards the end when Emmett makes peace with Anna’s death and promises her, in his mind that they will meet again, someday! A worthy read!